This story has been updated.
Metro police Chief Ronal Serpas is one of six candidates for police superintendent in New Orleans.
Serpas traveled to New Orleans, his hometown, on Monday afternoon to interview for the position.
"I absolutely love Nashville. My family and I have made this city our home for the past six years, and there is no other chief’s job that I would even remotely consider over Nashville," he said in a statement issued Monday afternoon. "In fact, I have been asked on several occasions to become a candidate for police chief in other major U.S. cities. I declined each invitation. When a New Orleans television station inquired on Feb. 19 about my interest in the job there, I replied that I was very happy in Nashville and had no plan to go anywhere else."
He said he changed his mind after "lifelong friends" in New Orleans convinced him he should consider returning to the city where his career began, and where he spent 41 years before becoming chief of the Washington State Patrol.
Serpas became Metro’s chief of police in January 2004 after serving for two and a half years in Washington.
"The decision to enter the process in New Orleans was not easy and did not become final until this month, at which time I informed Mayor [Karl] Dean," he said. "I am going there today to participate in an interview process with other candidates. I am going to New Orleans as only a candidate, to listen and to answer questions." He said he would return to Nashville later this week.
The chief has a doctorate in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans, and he taught as an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Loyola University New Orleans from 1993 to 2001.